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  1. #1
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    I got to ride a look 566 today

    Since getting crunched last week I've been looking hard at getting a new frame to replace my bent Cinelli.

    I've kinda settled on the $2000 price point and have been very intrigued by the new relaxed geometries of the Specialized Roubaix Pro SL and the Look 566. The new 566 frame is really a nice looking bike, extremely high tech with all of the advanced curves and shapes of the tubes. The top tube is incredibly flat and thin, and the bend at the top looks pretty good when seen in real life. As a matter of fact the whole bike looks much better than what is pictured on Look's web site.

    My old Cinelli is an old school traditional racing frame and it felt very very strange to be so upright on these new relaxed geometry frames. Everything felt much more normal when I took the Tarmac Pro SL for a test ride. But I'm not a racer anymore so it seems that I should try to force myself to get used to these new sporty frames. Well at least I've kinda convinced myself to go with the relaxed frame instead of something that feels more like what I'm used to in the Tarmac.

    The Look 566 that I rode today was the entry level bike configured with SRAM Rival components. I don't know what the weight was, but I'm guessing it was around 17lbs with pedals. The ride on the 566 was pretty short, only about 10 min and the road wasn't too rough, though it did feel like there was a reasonable amount of vibration damping from this high tech frame.

    The biggest con of this bike (in comparison to the Roubaix Pro SL) is that it just didn't seem to accelerate very quickly. Its really hard to tell if the problem was only the weight difference, or if the may have been some unwanted flex in the BB and chainstays. I realize that its not a fair comparison noting the differences of a $2500 bike and a $5000 bike like the Roubaix Pro. But both frames sell at the same price point and I'm likely to install a Chorus group on whichever one I decide to get.

    The 566 was equipped with Fulcrum Racing 7 wheels which weigh in aroung 1850 grams while the Roubaix had Roval Roubaix wheels which come in at around 1586 grams. That alone could possibly account for the differences in how one bike accelerated vs the other. I plan on going with a set of Campy Eurus 2-way fit wheels (which are comparable to the Roval wheels).

    It will be pretty difficult for me to make a decision between the two frames considering I can't compare them with equal components. As it stands right now I like the way that the Look 566 looks better than the Roubaix Pro SL. However the Roubaix has a better warranty (lifetime vs 5 years) and in my admittedly unfair comparison seems to accelerate better.

    If anyone has any other ideas about why one frame is a better choice than the other I'd love to hear it.

    Derek
    Derek
    --The shade tree mechanic

  2. #2
    Slippery Old Devil
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    Did you ride them back to back? Which did you ride first? The wheels could make a difference but as for BB flex in a 566, I'd have to refer you to Thor Hushovd. Try a 585 Optimum (with better components).

  3. #3
    scruffy nerf herder
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    Lighter wheels = better acceleration.

    BB flex? One of the most grossly overused and useless stats out there. People dont know what to say about a frame and want to seem like they know what they are talking about so they start chiding a frame on flex. Then they report on it, then some newbie that doesn't know what they are talking about poo poos a bike because somebody said it has flex, so the newb gets on there and THINKS they are feeling flex, but thats wrong.

    We could argue all day about flex and whether the energy used in flex is returned to the rider as it "FLEXES back" OR... whether or not shaped carbon bikes flex much at all in comparison to steel or other bikes in the 70's or 80's.

    So honestly dude... either it flexed or didn't. Dont say it 'may' have... otherwise you are just providing an otherwise useless and unsubstantiated information on a bike that may be perfectly good for someone else. Try stats that you do know. Saying that it FEELS faster is fine. Put the same wheels on both... and repeat. Do you get the same result?

    The Look is a perfectly capable bike.
    so sayeth the funk....

    Chris

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    "The RBR Lounge. You won't ever find a more wretched hive of scum and villany. We must be cautious."

  4. #4
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    I rode the Roubaix first

    I rode the Roubaix last Sunday, and the 566 today.

    When I think about it now the 566 did just seem kinda sluggish. I haven't been on my cinelli since last thursday, but when I think about it, I think that my steel 18 lb cinelli felt like it was accelerating faster also. But on that bike I had sub 1600 gram wheels (eurus) and tubeless tires.

    It really is hard to tell with the rides being separated by days and all. The one thing I do know for sure is that the Roubaix and Tarmac Pro SL bikes really did feel lighter than anything I've ever been on before. Last sunday was the first time I had ever ridden a carbon frame.

    Quote Originally Posted by oily666
    Did you ride them back to back? Which did you ride first? The wheels could make a difference but as for BB flex in a 566, I'd have to refer you to Thor Hushovd. Try a 585 Optimum (with better components).
    Derek
    --The shade tree mechanic

  5. #5
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    I ride a look 595, I can't comment on the 566. But I used to ride a kg381i and a 585. Both were very nice rides, neither was too flexy. I race CAT II and my LBS owner used to ride in Europe and is a CAT I level racer. He does Sea Otter each year and other high level events. He rode a 585 for 2 years and loved it. Yet I have seen a few guys in here just from my lurking, post about the 585 being too flexy. I don't know what level of riders they are, but I'm pretty confident they do not have more wattage than my CAT I class LBS owner who never had a flex issue with the 585. I think frame flex gets a lot more play in chatrooms than what it really bears in real life. Look does pretty serious R&D and their entry level frame from a performance standpoint would be equal to or better than most other makers top end bikes. If the 566 is at all similiar to the 585 I'd race that bike over any steel, aluminum or ti frame out there and most makers carbon frames out there. Looks are topnotch. They are light, stiff where they need to be and just very well designed bikes.

  6. #6
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    The 555/566 and 585/595 are not in the same class. I have a 585 team and have no issues with flex and I make 17.5w/kg for 5 sec (83kgs). The 555/566 are marketing bikes, they look cool- but that is about it. Look uses the prestige of the higher-end models to sell the budget bikes. I read a great review that someone who owned both had wrote but I can't seem to find it ( to summarize, they did not like the cheaper model, it felt wooden, like a cheap carbon frame). Here is a little info http://www.bikeradar.com/news/articl...ad-bikes-17832 . Look makes great racing bikes, not great entry level bikes. Take a harder look at the Spec. they generally make great bikes at all price points.

  7. #7
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    I agree with climbandcycle.

    Unless you are willing to add the 585/595 to the candidate list, my recommendation is to go with the Roubaix - or whichever bike your first impression favors. Actually, I would always recommend the bike that worked the best, not looked the best.

  8. #8
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Even though BB flex probably doesn't have a significant affect on translation
    of pedal force to forward motion, from personal experience I prefer a stiff
    BB for the possible handling\confidence inspiring factor. I went from an
    aluminum noodle to a TCR Advanced and would not skimp on BB stiffness.
    All I said was that our son, the apple of our three eyes, Martha being a cyclops, our son is a beanbag, and you get testy!

  9. #9
    Is it the future yet?
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    The 555/566 and 585/595 are not in the same class.
    I should hope not as a complete 555/566 is that price of a 585/595 frame.

    Here's a quote from Road Bike Action Mag.
    http://roadbikeaction.com/fly.aspx?l...xid=66&cid=130

    "We spent a lot of time on the 555. At first it didn’t jump out at us as a Look frame usually does. The feel was solid, comfortable, nimble and adept, but it wasn’t until we put more miles on the 555 that we began to understand its best qualities. The Look 555 is a very comfortable bike that keeps you riding for miles and miles and almost gets better as the day goes on. It is a solid handler and descender, not an innate climber, but fine on long hills and capable on rollers, and solid in a frenetic sprint situation. The Look 555 does exactly what Look intended it to do and does so with an attitude-inspiring design, construction and heritage. There was some grumbling in the RBA offices when this feature was suggested. Lower-end bikes from the most famous builders in the world? Why not get their most expensive models to review? That’s what people want to see. Well, the Look 555 proves our point and justifies this feature. For under $3000 you can get the benefit, testing, history and panache of a Look bicycle that holds true to its revered name."





    .

  10. #10
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    I'll be doing a better test this weekend.

    My Specialized dealer is going to let me borrow a Roubaix for 24hrs. I plan on doing a full ride with some real climbing on it. And then bringing it by to the other shop that has the 566 and riding them with the same wheels.

    There will still be a difference in overall weight between the two bikes but having the same wheelset should go a long ways to making a more even playing field.

    I hadn't really considered the 585 because the frame alone is $3000. However I got my estimate for the repairs to my bike and it came to $4150, which actually is enough to get the 585 Optimum (which is absolutely gorgeous), but I would still have to come up with more money of my own to completely outfit the bike with the same Chorus components and buying a new Eurus rear wheel. Even though that sounds tempting, I'm probably not going to go that route (unless they give me some extra money for pain and suffering).

    As it stands right now I'm leaning towards the Roubaix frame. The biggest problem with the Looks (aside from the possible sluggishness of the 566) is that the warranty isn't as comprehensive as Specialized's.

    Quote Originally Posted by NealH
    I agree with climbandcycle.

    Unless you are willing to add the 585/595 to the candidate list, my recommendation is to go with the Roubaix - or whichever bike your first impression favors. Actually, I would always recommend the bike that worked the best, not looked the best.
    Derek
    --The shade tree mechanic

  11. #11
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    You keep repeating the word sluggish so many time that I guess soon it will become true.

    Itīs probably in the wheels. A couple of years ago a friend of mine and I switched wheels on a training ride. His wheels were first generation fulcrum fives and mine were ksyrium sls. A 300 gram difference. The wheel change transformed my bike from a super-quick crit-type machine to a sluggish train. So yeah, itīs probably in the wheels.

  12. #12
    Slippery Old Devil
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    Don't get too hung up on warranties. Remember, the bold print givith and the fine print taketh away. I weigh 170 pounds and have a Look 361 (Taiwan frame) with 25K+ miles on it. As far as I can tell there's been no change. Not even a hairline crack in the finish which happens with many higher end carbon frames.

    Bikes can be like stereo systems. The system that blew you away in the store can drive you out of your music room a month later. Maximum7 gave you some good advice. It's how the bike feels over the long haul and the subtle things the bike does that you never notice unless you're focussed on it at the moment. I also have a 481 SL that feels like my friend's Cervello R3 and IMO has superior build quality and finish. The first time I rode it I was dazzled. Now I'm used to all the things it does well and don't even notice them but, I've never felt more confident on a bike in 35 years on the road.

    Check the reviews. The 585 recieved a citation from RBR for the number of five star reviews it got and is still getting. Also, check out the Look Forum in RBR and also note how many posts it has. And it's monitored by Look's top customer service guy, Chas. We're a rabid bunch.

  13. #13
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    imo

    i am inclined to think it's the wheels, not the frame. i also believe best value in Look or another "like" brand is to pick their low-mid spec frame, it will be 90% as good as their top end frame but 50% cheaper. The "flex" is not an issue unless you weigh a tonne or can put out the power of elite rider.
    What will be far more important is the "fit" of a frame for your body. If Roubaix fits better go with that. If you feel more comfortable on Roubaix then buy it but dont waste time on things you cant measure accurately like "flex" because I think there is none to make any real difference on the road. Stay upright. 8^)

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by climbandcycle
    The 555/566 and 585/595 are not in the same class. I have a 585 team and have no issues with flex and I make 17.5w/kg for 5 sec (83kgs). The 555/566 are marketing bikes, they look cool- but that is about it.
    There's no doubt that Specialized is making some great bikes right now, so I'm not going to try to talk you out of one, but I'd just like to say that the 555 and the 566 are VERY different bikes. The 2007 555 was our first entry in the "budget" full carbon market. It is a nice frame that was relatively successful for us, but the $3000 complete bike price point is very competitive, and I don't think the 555 represented LOOK's full capabilities. So we decided to move forward with a new frameset - the 566.

    Pricepoint is about the only thing the 555 and 566 have in common. The 566 is lighter, sexier, and rides better. We have one here built up with a pair of Ksyrium ES's and it's under someone's butt on nearly every lunch ride. I think that says something considering the selection of bikes we have here to choose from.

    I'm really excited about the 566 this year. After spending quite a bit of time riding one, I can tell you that it's "LOOK"-ness is more than skin deep.

    chas@LookUSA

  15. #15
    cog-it-goes ergo sum
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    Quote Originally Posted by climbandcycle
    Look makes great racing bikes, not great entry level bikes.
    This is one of the dumbest things I've read on the internet in a while.
    D

  16. #16
    Is it the future yet?
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    So did you get to ride them?
    Thoughts?

  17. #17
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    No not back to back

    Unfortunately my Specialized dealer had already lent out the demo bike for the weekend. Hopefully I'll be able to get another chance this week.

    I did however go back to the Look dealer and ask for another test ride with a lighter wheelset. On this test ride I swapped in a set of Ksyrium SL premiums. These wheels should have been lighter than the Roval Roubaix wheels that were on the Specialized bike I rode the week before.

    In all honesty the 566 didn't feel much different than it had when I had ridden it earlier in the week. There were several days in between the rides so its difficult to compare. I do know that I felt surprised about the lightness and how quick they felt when I rode the Roubaix and Tarmac the week before. I didn't get that from the 566.

    Maybe I was just feeling extra strong that day I rode the Specialized bikes? Or maybe there is some actual difference that I can't put my finger on. I won't even bother to venture a guess as to what that might be given how some people around here seem to take a guess of a possible shortcoming in the Look frame as if I've insulted their mother.
    Derek
    --The shade tree mechanic

  18. #18
    BIGchainRING
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    I don't have a lot of experience with "high end" carbon frames, but I just finished building up my Look 555 about 600 miles ago and I would like to say that it is the best bicycle that I have ever owned. I am not a racer, but I don't just sit and pedal when I am out for a bike ride either.

    Living in San Francisco/Bay Area means every ride has many climbs and descents, and my 555 performs very well. On climbs I just stand up and go. I am not sure what "flex in the bottom bracket" is anyway. I don't even have to shift out of the big chain ring. Descents are crisp and fast. The bike handles almost too well; it encourages high speed.

    One thing that did take some time to dial in was the upright riding posture. Sometimes I felt like I was on a mountain bike until I chopped the steerer some more to get a more aggressive posture.

    If you start with a frame/fork, and buy all of the components for a custom build, maybe you can lose the slow acceleration feeling. Or just go with the Specialized because they also make excellent bicycles (my '93 Rockhopper is still performing flawlessly).

  19. #19
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    thoughts...

    The 566 is geared toward recreational riders, where a more compliant ride is usually desired. It's not supposed to be a stiff racing frame and neither is the Roubaix. I never put much value in brief test rides myself. You not only need the same wheels, but also tires, tire pressure, saddle and some amount of fit adjustment, or your impressions will be skewed.

    I've usually taken a leap of faith and bought frames untested. I haven't test ridden a bike since 1992. I bought a C'dale 2.8 that year (after a test ride) and it now holds a place on my list of most brutal frames you could buy. Others include a '98 Litespeed Ultimate and a 51cm Cervelo R3. I decided after 200 miles to sell the R3 frame. Crappy geometry and ride.

    I've owned four look frames - KG381, KG461, 585 origin and 585 Ultra. I've still got the last three. The KG461 is a lower level frame and has a bit more compliant ride than the any of the others, but it is in no way disappointing.

    If you really want a racier ride, look for a closeout price of around $2K on a 585. That's what I paid for my Ultra frame. Now there is a stiff frame.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by climbandcycle
    The 555/566 and 585/595 are not in the same class. I have a 585 team and have no issues with flex and I make 17.5w/kg for 5 sec (83kgs). The 555/566 are marketing bikes, they look cool- but that is about it. Look uses the prestige of the higher-end models to sell the budget bikes. I read a great review that someone who owned both had wrote but I can't seem to find it ( to summarize, they did not like the cheaper model, it felt wooden, like a cheap carbon frame). Here is a little info http://www.bikeradar.com/news/articl...ad-bikes-17832 . Look makes great racing bikes, not great entry level bikes. Take a harder look at the Spec. they generally make great bikes at all price points.
    And you know this for fact because you designed the 566?

    You spent significant time riding the 566?

    " Look makes great racing bikes, not great entry level bikes."

    Agree with the other poster, this has to be one of the stupidest statements I have ever heard. Making great race bikes prevents one from making a great entry level bike? Why? Have you actually ridden a 566? If you have not ridden it how do you know how the bike rides? How much saddle time do you have on a 566, be honest? Zero?

    Just plain stupid.

  21. #21
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    Fit/set up is most likely the culprit. If the bars are too high, the stem to long or short, or your weight too far forward or aft, it will effect the handling of the bike.
    That said, go with the bike that sings to you.

  22. #22
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    Talking Look 566 is the best choice in the less than $2600 range in 2009, period

    I faced the exact same decisions between the 09 566 and 09 Roubaix and have ridden both bikes extensively. They are both beautiful bikes with very similar characteristics, shorter top-tube, longer head tube, semi relaxed sloping geometry that is good for all riding conditions including the periodic race. It not a true racing bike so all those who chimed in with 585 comments and such are not in your market, or maybe just posing.

    Regardless of the choice will you be happy either bike, and the design and paint upgrades on the 2009 Roubaix made the decision more difficult.

    I choose the 566 for the following reasons:
    1) Price tag, the 566 with the awesomely updated 2009 SRAM Rival is $200 less than the Robaiux with lack-luster 105 components. Add Ultergra SL to the Roubaix and there is more than a $600 difference.
    2) Steez, Both bikes are great looking and updated for 2009 but the Look is a Look and I see Roubaixs everyday. Maybe it is vain but I like to have something a bit different, same reason I didn't buy the Trek 5.2. Look 566 has a nice little pin-stripe on the top tube that finishes it off nice.
    3) SRAM Rival! If you haven't read the Bicycling magazines December issue review of SRAM Rival, do it. I was skeptical at first but simply love the double-tap shifting, light weight, black powder coat, and exact shift of the SRAM components. By brother is a Dura-Ace fiend and said he likes the shifting of SRAM as good as or better than DA. I was shocked.
    4) FSA Ergo-aero carbon bars are really nice and comfy and an upgrade from the Specialized Bar.
    5) Fulcrum 7s, these wheel are generic as this get and are not light, but are somewhat aero and are extremely strong and stiff on corners. Good training wheel.
    6) Crankset is not compact (39/53) with 12/25 on the cassette. This is a personal choice but is working out great.
    7) Look seems to jump out faster in the sprint and the bottom bracket is beefy, overall handling was more comfortable for me and I feel as I can really lay into the corners.

    Not everything is perfect on the Look though
    1a) Geometry sizes are limited. If you are over 6' 2'' or really small you might not fit.
    1) Fulcrum 7s, if you have fun out of the saddle you will want to upgrade.
    2) Tires, the Equinoxs are a good tire but the bike was shipped with the very heavy steel beaded version of the tire that exacerbates the heaviness of the Fulcrums.
    3) Aero, the rear triangle has twisted stay for compliance and I appreciate the compliance but the top half of the stay has a lot of surface area that is exposed to the wind and wheel turbulence. There is an aero penalty there.
    4) The included Ponza saddle not uncomfortable but was well.. pretty cheap. I swapped out right away.

    Here are some pictures I posted in the Look forum; who wouldn't want to ride that!

    http://forums.roadbikereview.com/sho...71#post1908471

    If you have any questions feel free to ask.

    The Chief out!
    Last edited by TheChief; 12-08-2008 at 08:11 AM. Reason: Title Grammer

  23. #23
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    Chief, your bike looks great!

    Hi Chief,

    Your 566 pix in the other post look great. The 566 is definitely the best looking of all the frames I've been considering. However, it is no longer on my list, for 2 reasons:
    1. The 566 just didn't seem to accelerate as quickly as the Roubaix Pro. I rode both bikes several times and for me I just didn't get as good a feeling with the 566.

    2. The Specialized warranty is very much superior in that it guards against cracks developing in the carbon fiber for the lifetime of the original owner. I'm now only considering carbon bikes with lifetime warranties.

    So I've narrowed it down to the Roubaix Pro SL and the Cervelo RS. I still haven't been able to ride the Cervelo yet, but hope to tomorrow, and hope to finally make a decision about which frame to buy on Wednesday. The Cervelo just doesn't do it for me aesthetically, and its more expensive than the Roubaix (my LBS is offering an 09 Roubaix frame for less than $1800 through December). But the Cevelo owners are a very happy and vocal group, so I've gotta try one to see what all the fuss is about.
    Derek
    --The shade tree mechanic

  24. #24
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    I looked at the Roubaix Pro SL complete and it was great but out of my price range at $4400, but the frame at $1800 is a good price, and I think that's $200 less than the 566 frame allow. Guess that is a no brainer. The Cervelo RS is interesting also, keep us posted. Either way you are in for a win/win situation.

  25. #25
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    Oh, I plan on trying the Easton EA90 Aeros (in the picture) on the bike also when the snow melts. My brother believes with the Eastons the 566 will liven up a ton on the sprints.

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